Kenneth Udut has always been a secularist but never an atheist.


Here’s my issue: by placing blame on “all religion” this, your cause is weakened tremendously.

It is too broad, too simple. I would even go so far as to say, too naive.

I am a citizen and a secularist. I am also not atheist. Secularism is not atheism.

Allow me to repeat: Secularism is not Atheism.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jacques-berlinerblau/secularism-is-not-atheism_b_1699588.html

[I didn’t watch the video but the article says it well enough]

I’d happily join in a fight against anti-secular measures. In fact, I already do.

But when agreeable secular rhetoric is mixed up and entangled with anti-theistic rhetoric, I have to draw a line.

The myth that secularism = atheism is a modern myth, born of the Religious Right itself.

Secularism was never atheism. Atheism was never secularism.

They may correlate and cross-over but they’re not the same. Their fights are _different_.

I am a secularist. I am not an atheist.

But by fighting secularists like _me_ and being unable to put aside parts of the entire rhetoric you are using in order to focus on reaffirming secular values, your case becomes weaker and you lose allies in your fight.

Separate your secularism from your atheism. Don’t mix them up. That’s like someone mixing up their politics and their religion.
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I’m agnostic, Michael. I’ve probably said it 100 times to you from the first time our names crossed paths on Facebook.

I’m ok that you forget. I forget things too.

But I’ve said it numerous times.

But see, I’ve been a secularist when I grew up going to the Methodist church as a kid. I learned it in Boy Scouts and school; the importance of being a citizen, being respectful of religions, knowing where to draw the lines between politics and religion.

I was a secularist when I was playing around in different religions. Unitarian Universalist secularist. Quaker secularist. Buddhist secularist. Eastern Orthodox secularist. New Age secularist. Whatever I was investigating or checking out at the time:

I was always a secularist.

But I’ve never been an atheist.

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Even my stint into scientism (“Science Has All The Answers” mode), I was “scientism secularist” yet STILL not atheist. I’ve never been.

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There we go. We’re discovering some common ground. I’m more agnostic than you, you’re less agnostic than me but we have that in common.

We also have secular battles in common. The US government should not establish a national religion or required religious carrying cards in order to be a citizen or enter politics and one should not be denied government support based upon their religious beliefs, whatever they are or aren’t.

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Ok, that’s where are fights depart. I’ve been lucky: I’ve seen positive benefits of religions on people. I know others have had bad experiences. I also know that religions are abused for political gain. I know some people have experienced psychological trauma as well.

But I see those as abuses of authority.

I can point to non-religious sources of trauma of equal value.

School. US Public school. No religion there. It’s secular as secular gets.

But most of the issues you have with religion, I’ve seen mirrored exactly in the US public school system.

Bad experiences. Education used for political gain (think: school administrators using it as a jumping ground for political power and the disasterous effects that had on the policies and therefore the kids who WENT to those schools under their administrations). People who experienced psychological trauma through school.

No religion there.

But plenty of: Authority issues. Trust issues. Power issues. Political issues.

I ask that the issues be separated and dealt with without the singular answer cause-effect talk. That’s all.
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